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Custom Exempt Red Meat and/or Poultry Slaughter Facilities in Florida1

Chad Carr and Larry Eubanks 2

Several livestock and small poultry producers are trying to gain a greater portion of the available profit margin by becoming meat marketers, rather than just livestock producers. Custom exempt slaughter facilities can help facilitate the needs of niche meat marketers. Additionally, many Florida consumers aspire to buy locally raised products. A custom exempt facility is exempted from inspection by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) because it is being paid for the service of converting a meat animal into a meat product. This exemption is described in its entirety in the Code of Federal Regulations (USDA 2003) and is discussed extensively in Carr et al. (2008b). Custom exempt poultry processing facilities have different regulations than red meat facilities (USDA 2006).

A custom exempt red meat facility can only slaughter and process livestock for the exclusive use of the owner(s), and products cannot be sold. The facility will still be subject to periodic, risk-based inspection by USDA-FSIS. A red meat plant can simultaneously do work that is custom exempt and federally inspected, whereas a poultry plant cannot. Several of the USDA-inspected facilities listed in EDIS document AN203 (Carr et al. 2008a) also perform custom exempt slaughter. The following is a list of custom exempt livestock and/or poultry facilities in the State of Florida.

Literature Cited

Carr, C. C., L. E. Eubanks, & R. D. Dijkhuis. 2008a. USDA Inspected Livestock Slaughter Facilities in Florida. AN203. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Carr, C. C., L. E. Eubanks, & R. D. Dijkhuis. 2008b. Custom and Retail Exempt Meat Marketing. AN204. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences..

USDA. 2003. Exemptions to Federal Meat Inspection. 9CFR303.1 Food Safety Inspection Service. Washington D.C. (May 23, 2008)

USDA. 2006. Guidance for Determining Whether a Poultry Slaughter or Processing Operation is Exempt from Inspection Requirements of the Poultry Products Inspection Act. Food Safety Inspection Service. Washington D.C. (May 12, 2010)

USDA. 2007. Custom Exempt Review Process. 5930 Food Safety Inspection Service. Washington D.C. (July 30, 2008)


Table 1. 


1. This document is AN248, one of a series of the Animal Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date July 2010. Revised August 2018. Reviewed October 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Chad Carr, associate professor, Department of Animal Sciences; and Larry Eubanks, coordinator of research programs, Department of Animal Sciences; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #AN248

Date: 5/8/2019

    Fact Sheet


    • Charles Carr